One Independence Day, One Event in One City

At Mahatma Gandhi Centre, Auckland on August 12, 2018

Venkat Raman

A majority of Indian associations, clubs and societies have decided to celebrate India’s Independence Day on a single platform rather than on different days at different venues this year, according to available information.

The event will be held from 1030 am on Sunday, August 12, 2018 at Mahatma Gandhi Centre, 145 New North Road, Eden Terrace, Auckland City.

Good Experiment

Indian associations all over the world are known for their independent and individualistic approach because of their unique constitution based on language, region and religion, and hence tend to celebrate such national events as ‘Republic Day,’ ‘Independence Day’ and other events as their individual programmes.

Therefore, the attempt of a number of organisations to jointly celebrate India’s Independence Day this year would be an experiment, which, if successful, could become the norm.

It is understood that the forthcoming event is not under the banner of any single organisation but being presented as an ‘Indian Community Event.’

The Programme

As well as rendering patriotic songs and dances that usually mark the occasion, the Programme at Mahatma Gandhi Centre will include cultural performances that are unique to different regions in India. Since Auckland has diverse talents that envelope almost all the geographic entities of India, there would be ample talent to come to the fore.

Among the participants would be community groups, youngsters and children.

Actual day on August 15

However, the actual day of India’s Independence is August 15.

On that day, there would be flag-hoisting ceremonies, speeches, reading of the ‘Address to the Nation by the Indian President’ and rendition of patriotic songs at the Indian High Commission in Wellington. Similar events are expected to be held at other venues of Indian associations throughout the country.

The Difference

Indians from India celebrate their Independence Day on August 15 with emotion and Republic Day on January 26 with pride.

Thousands of lives were lost as Indians fought for their freedom from the British Rule for more than six decades before finally achieving it on August 15, 1947. The martyrs of freedom are always remembered on this day with the country observing it as a National Holiday.

The Indian Diaspora, mostly from India, marks August 15 as a day of reckoning and, as the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru said, ‘as the day when Indians, collectively had a date with destiny and embarked on a journey, never to look back.’

Justifiable Pride

Six decades later, that pride has been justified.

The progress registered by the country vindicates the principles on which its leaders sought political independence through a bloodless revolution.

India has marched along the road of freedom, ordering its own affairs and never interfering in those of others.

The results have been remarkable. More in our next issue.

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